Coconut Cashew Cookie Dough Bites

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind…

IMG_20160307_083820549_HDR

It had some highs…beautiful weather, good workouts, and dinner and beers with friends.

IMG_20160304_190839054

But the low was that I’m not sure that I got nearly enough sleep!  Ain’t that always the truth?!

IMG_20160305_110713

Saturday morning, I taught two fun kids yoga classes with an amazing group of kids.  Afterwards, my yoga volunteer and I had coffee and quiches at All Chocolate Kitchen.  I am borderline obsessed with the place and love any excuse to go!  Saturday night, we met friends for dinner and beers at a local brewery.  We had wonderful food and conversation!

Sunday was a beautiful day and I enjoyed a speedy 5 mile run along the path.  My first mile was 7:46, which shocked me and I somehow averaged out my miles to around 8:15.  I was exhausted when I was done, but thrilled to be running outdoors.  We had a nice Sunday afternoon hanging out with the BOY’s family.

IMG_20160307_091730166_HDR

Monday was another sunny day!  Woo hoo!  I headed off to a 9:30am yoga class, which was truly incredible.  Love starting my week on my mat!  The rest of my day was pretty typical with the addition of a dentist appointment (no cavities!).

IMG_20160307_144540022

When I got home, I put away groceries and started on this week’s food prep.  Dinner went into the crockpot, I chopped veggies, and then whipped up another batch of Power Balls.  This week’s flavor was inspired by the delicious Coconut Cashew Butter I bought last week.

IMG_20160307_155020587 IMG_20160307_155328981

IMG_20160307_155505246_HDR IMG_20160307_155600755

I decided to add in a bit of protein powder as well.

IMG_20160307_160248368

I think that I could probably add in some more nutrition powerhouses next time, but didn’t want to mess with the recipe the first time I made it.

IMG_20160307_160310650

The texture of these balls turned out perfect and I love the flavor!  I know they will be exactly what the BOY and I need to fuel us throughout the week.  I tried to do some paperwork tonight, but my computer wouldn’t connect to the internet (bummer!), so instead, the BOY, Cooper, and I are watching Big Hero 6 (also important for my work…ha ha!)

What were your weekend highs and lows?

What’s your favorite snack bar/ball recipe? Share the Link!

 

Meal Planning 3/07/16

Monday: Steak and Fish

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken with Cauliflower

Wednesday: Potato Bar with Chicken and Veggies

Thursday: TBD

 

Coconut Cashew Cookie Dough Bites

From Grain Crazy

Ingredients

1 cup cashews

1 cup unsweetened coconut shredded

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal

1/4 C honey

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (optional)

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional and totally tasty!)

Directions

1. In a blender or food processor blend cashews and coconut until combined and broken down.
2. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture and then pour in everything else in to the blender except the chips. Blend until all combined.
3. Fold in the chips. Roll into small bite size balls.
4. Roll the balls into the 1/2 cup mixture you set aside. Place on a plate or into a covered container. Let them harden in the fridge and enjoy.
5. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Energy Bites for Energy

Saturday morning, the BOY and I started our day with a workout.  I was feeling back in my groove, but he faded a bit.  The most likely cause…nutrition!

IMG_20160220_072937465_HDR 

Although the BOY has made a lot of changes to his diet, he still isn’t a good breakfast eater and needs some more protein.  After our workout, my trainer gave us some dinner and snack ideas, including these awesome Energy Balls from Wildtree.  I happened to have all the ingredients in our house except walnuts, which we picked up at Target.  Also at Target…

IMG_20160220_090308800

Tell me…have you tried them yet?  I resisted the urge to buy them and came home to make a green protein shake and begin mixing up our snack balls.

IMG_20160220_095320358 IMG_20160220_095527432

IMG_20160220_100253243 IMG_20160220_100353414

I was a little nervous that the ‘dough’ was dry (most likely because I used natural almond butter), so I added a bit more honey.  I also added in chia seeds because I had about 2 tbsp in a bag that I needed to kill.

IMG_20160220_105042921

Saturday was a sunny and gorgeous day!  Perfect to crack open the windows and enjoy some energy balls and a latte : )

IMG_20160220_105310

And then stash the rest in the fridge where the BOY and I have been snacking on them all week.

IMG_20160220_105100644

I spent the afternoon teaching the most wonderful group of swimmers at a yoga workshop!  It was so nice to open the door and spend 90 minutes doing yoga in the fresh air again!

IMG_20160220_153224734_HDR

What is your favorite snack or energy food?

Energy Bites

Adapted form Wildtree

Ingredients

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup flaxseed, ground

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons shredded coconut

1/2 cup almond butter

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 tablespoon Coconut Oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini dark chocolate morsels

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a food processor, grind walnuts to medium/fine grind. Add flaxseed (and chia if you want) and process for 30 seconds. Add cinnamon, coconut, almond butter, oats, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Process for 20 seconds. Place mixture into a covered storage container and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When ready to roll, remove refrigerated mix and add mini dark chocolate morsels and salt; mix gently to incorporate all ingredients. Hand roll into 1-inch balls and store in air tight container.

12 Days of Recipes {Day 8}

Just popping in quickly to share an awesome new recipe!

 

IMG_0665

 

I stumbled on this in my recipe binder, and I hope that you stumble upon this too because this cookie is outstanding!

Since I am downtown, I’ve just got a few pictures followed by a mouth watering recipe for you.

 

IMG_0667

 

 

IMG_0669

 

 

IMG_0670

 

 

IMG_0672

 

I’ll be back tomorrow!

 

12 Days of Recipes

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

 

 

 

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coconut Cookies

From Chocolate Moosey

 

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup shredded coconut

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture then stir in coconut. Refrigerate the dough until cold, about an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheets 3 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set. Wait a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

It’s the Final Count Down

I did my last real run this morning.  4 miles…and it went really well!

 

IMG_3011

 

The leaves have begun to fall, and it was a beautiful morning!

 

IMG_3014

 

This morning’s weather got me thinking about this weekend’s weather.  I have heard everything from perfect fall Chicago weather to 70 degrees with thunderstorms on race day.  My plan is to wait until Saturday night and then figure it out from there, but of course I am crossing my fingers for nice, cool weather.

 

IMG_2974

 

Like this past weekend…which was perfect!

 

IMG_3022

 

Who knew that crockpot weather and good running weather were one and the same?!

 

IMG_3025

 

In an attempt to keep things simple this week, I made Monday’s dinner (and today’s lunch) on Sunday in the crockpot.

 

IMG_3026

 

This curry is a lot of fun because you blend together all of your flavors and seasoning to make a sauce that tops your chicken and carrots.  See note below regarding the red pepper options. I chose to keep it sliced, but you could also blend it into the sauce.

 

IMG_3027

 

Just a warming, I thought this curry was pretty spicy (I used red pepper flakes), so adjust the spiciness to your taste.

 

IMG_3028

 

The BOY and I both LOVED this dinner and it reheats well.  My crockpot has made some really amazing dinners recently, making meals (and life) super simple, which is exactly what I needed this week.  I’ve got one last mini run before the big race and the rest of the week will be all about resting, drinking water, and trying not to injure myself!

 

 

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken

From Sweet Treats and More

 

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

5 large carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 (5 oz ) can tomato paste

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk

1  tsp salt

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbsp water

1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

**NOTE: I didn’t have as much chicken as I thought (not quite 2 lbs), so I added in 1 15oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

 

Directions

Grease your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the chicken, carrots, and red pepper on the bottom of slow cooker. Add chickpeas if using.

Place the rest of the ingredients (except water and corn starch) in a food processor and process together until mixture is mostly smooth.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and veggies, mix well, then cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.

An hour or so before serving, mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour mixture into the slow cooker, stir to combine, and continue cooking for another hour.

 

Author’s Notes:

-The cornstarch will thicken up the sauce. When the sauce is to your desired thickness, turn slow cooker to warm setting until ready to serve.

-If you want, you can chop the bell pepper into larger pieces and place it with the chicken or you can process it in with the sauce.

Pinterest Planning

So I am getting the hang of Pinterest (you may have seen me poking around on your sites) and although I still have some questions (which if I bump into you I will ask you…just ask Tracey who went running with me yesterday!), I was able to pull together this week’s meal plan based on some of my new recipe finds.  Despite being highly distracted by all of the mouth watering desserts, I managed to pin some healthy and tasty looking dinner options as well.  All of my hard work last weekend paid off with easy week night meals, so I was motivated to do it again during the Bear’s game today.

 

Meal Plan 10/06/13

Sunday: Coconut Crusted Tilapia with homemade mashed potatoes

 

Monday: Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken

 

Tuesday: Leftovers

 

Wednesday: The BOY’s Grill Night

 

Thursday: Greek Turkey Meatballs 

 

And Because it is National Cookie Month

And I am yet to bake anything pumpkin flavored…

I am also making…

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies

from Averie Cooks

 

This afternoon, I lit a pumpkin spice candle, opened up all of our doors and windows, and split my time between the kitchen making food for the week and the couch watching the Bears game.

 

IMG_2994

 

Our dinner was really simple and turned out fantastic!

 

IMG_2999

 

I made mashed potatoes for the BOY and a mashed sweet potato and parsnip mix for myself.  Since I did all of the cooking, the BOY is in charge of clean up and I can sit down with my feet up and relax a bit…with a cookie of course!

Hope you had a nice weekend!

What are you planning to eat for the week ahead?

 

 

Coconut Crusted Tilapia

Adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff

Ingredients

3 Pieces of Tilapia (about 1 pound)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup Sea Salt and Pepper Triscuits, crushed

2 egg whites, whisked lightly

olive oil spray

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place foil baking sheet and spray with non stick spray.

Combine coconut flakes and crushed crackers in a bowl. Put egg whites in another bowl.  Whisk gently.

Dip the Tilapia in the egg, then in the coconut crumb mixture. Then place them on a cookie sheet lined with foil.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until Tilapia is done.

Banana Coconut Dough Boy and a Much Needed Nap

Another Breakfast!

Another Recipe!

 

Happy Breakfast Month!

 

As I type this I am still in my jammies sitting on the couch with Cooper.  Cooper had his neuter surgery this week and it is my job to spend the day resting with him.  I have also added to my job, drinking lots of water and eating some carbs in prep for tomorrow’s long run.

 

IMG_2671

 

I knew that I needed a carby breakkie before tomorrow’s 20 miler.  And I remembered seeing a steel cut overnight oats recipe on My Whole Food Life.  I didn’t have all of the ingredients, but I used that recipe as inspiration to create this morning’s Dough Boy Smoothie.

 

IMG_2679

 

I prepared everything last night.

 

IMG_2680

 

And then had breakfast ready this morning.

 

IMG_2689

 

I crumbled some graham cracker and drizzled agave over the top of my smoothie for an awesome way to start the day.

 

IMG_2686

 

Thank you guys so much for all the advice with my running shoe dilemma.  It seems that you all agree I should wear the black shoes and be proactive about blisters, so that is the game plan for tomorrow’s 20 miler.  I will let you know how that goes!

 

IMG_2692

 

I had full intentions of doing an easy 2 miles today in my new shoes, but instead, I think I need a nap.  I decided to let Cooper sleep with us last night and after two nights at the vet, he was very loving.  He snuggled himself in between the BOY and I, curled up between my feet, and at one point (possibly around 4am), I discovered him over my head on the top of my pillow.  Needless to say, all three of us will be napping today.  Some seem to have already started…

 

Hope you have a fun and fantastic Friday!

 

IMG_2704

 

 

Banana Coconut Dough Boy Smoothie

Inspired by My Whole Food Life

 

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup (40 g) steel cut oats

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 banana, sliced

1 tbsp Chai seasoning

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 tbsp shredded coconut

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

 

Directions

Place all ingredients into your blender.

Leave blender in the fridge over night.

In the morning, blend until smooth.

Garnish with your favorite toppings!

 

I’m loving all of your steel cut oat suggestions, so please keep them coming!

Coconut Fudge Balls

I’ve been wanting to make another batch of energy balls using my dried coconut!

 

IMG_1623

 

I finally had some time on Monday, and was excited to combine the coconut with chocolate, kind of like the Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabars.

 

IMAG2016

 

The dried coconut is the perfect compliment to the sweet dates.

 

IMAG2017

 

Everything chopped up nicely and the flavor was exactly what I was hoping for (sometimes these ‘recipes’ end up being more like ‘experiments’).

 

IMAG2019

 

I did need to stream in some agave to help the balls come together.  To be honest, I didn’t really measure it, but you’ll know when you’ve added enough because a ball of dough will form.

 

IMAG2020

 

Then you can either press the ball into a greased pan to make bars or roll it into balls.

 

IMAG2023

 

Yummy!!!  Need I say more?  These healthy-ish balls are FULL of flavor!

 

IMAG2025

 

Store these balls in the fridge for an afternoon or mid workout snack!

 

IMAG2028

 

Does anyone else try to make homemade Larabars?

What is your favorite flavor?

 

So I had plans to share with you the Strawberry Balsamic Quinoa Salad that I have been eating for lunch this week because it is awesome, but I didn’t get any pictures of it.  I will definitely try to snap one later this week and share that recipe soon because it will be perfect for spring strawberries!

 

IMAG2045

 

I will get your mouth watering with pictures of tonight’s Grilled Garlic Pepper Shrimp form The Grilling Bible courtesy of the BOY!

 

IMAG2047

 

I still don’t know what’s with the Christmas plates : )  Looking for dessert, I highly recommend these Double Chocolate/Single Chin Brownies!

 

Coconut Fudge Balls

Adapted from German-Chocolate Fudge Bites

 

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup dried coconut

1 cup almonds

4 tbsp cacao powder

2 tsp vanilla

1-2 tbsp agave

 

Directions

Combine dates and coconut in a food processor and blend until combined.

Add almonds, cacao powder and vanilla.  Blend until well combined.

Stream in agave until a ball of dough starts to form.

Roll dough into balls and refrigerate for ~2 hours until set.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Coconut Balls

It seems that you guys joined the BOY as big fans of yesterday’s Indian-Spiced Chicken Burgers

Thanks for all of the comment love! 

Reading your comments is one AWESOME way to end the day!

 

The day started off with a run around the track.  I must admit that there was nothing speedy about today’s workout.  Sore doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel (thanks Jenna!), and I had the most painful cramps that I’ve felt in decades.  Yuck!  Getting to the track was a victory in itself. This morning’s run looked like this…

5 minute warm up

10 minute jog

10 minute faster jog

10 minute back to jog

2 minute cool down

 

I believe that workouts like this are supposed to be a run/fast run combination (in case you are looking to try it out).  I determined my pace by heart rate/feeling and adjusted for the above mentioned fatigue and cramps.  It must have been a worthwhile workout because I was sweating when I was done and 12 hours later, I am even more sore : )

 

IMG_1645

 

Although I have been really limiting my dairy, I have been wanting to try this new Chobani flavor.  It’s one small serving and topped with KIND granola makes the perfect post run snack. 

 

Speaking of snacks…I have an awesome new no bake energy bar recipe for you!

 

Confession: My first attempt at this recipe came from a cookbook and was a totally disaster!

 

IMG_1620

 

I don’t blame the cookbook, I blame the super soft apricots that tasted sweet like candy, but just didn’t stand up to the food processor in energy bars.  So I had to trash version one and start from scratch on my own version.

 

IMG_1623

 

I was inspired by this dried coconut that we picked up at Costco yesterday.  This brand makes the most amazing dried mango EVER, and so the BOY and I were excited to try this stuff too.

 

IMG_1624

 

For the nuts, I chose a blend of almonds and walnuts because I had both in the house, and because I love the flavor combination that they create with the dates.

 

IMG_1626

 

You do have to be patient because it takes a few minutes to break everything down and blend it together.

 

IMG_1628

 

If you are having trouble getting everything to stick together, you can stream in some liquid.  I chose fresh squeezed orange juice, but agave or honey would work too.  The last step is to simply roll the dough into balls and coat them in more coconut.

 

IMG_1630 IMG_1631

IMG_1632 IMG_1634

 

Please excuse the poor lighting on these pictures.  It was a dark and stormy day!

 

IMG_1637

 

But don’t let that deter you from making them!  I know that when it comes to coconut, you either love it or hate it.  Well not me!  I used to hate the stuff, but slowly it is growing on me, and these Coconut Balls are soft, chewy, sweet, and delicious!

 

IMG_1638 IMG_1640

 

 

Do you like coconut?

What is your favorite coconut recipe?

 

 

Coconut Balls

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups dried, pitted dates

1/2 cup dried coconut chunks

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup walnuts

1-2 tbsp fresh squeeze orange juice

1/2 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut

 

Directions

Place dates and coconuts in your food processor and blend until combined.

Add nuts and blend for another few minutes until everything begins to get combined.  Drizzle in 1-2 tbsp of fresh orange juice (or agave and honey) as needed to help everything blend together.

For the dough into balls and roll in shredded coconut.

Store in the fridge to snack on throughout the week!

Breakfast Again?!

Are you tired of breakfast yet???  I hope not because it really is the most important meal of the day!

 

IMG_2855

 

I’ve been working on perfecting this muffin bake with Take One and Take Two documented previously.  There is nothing more fun than making and tasting all of these different breakfasts!

 

IMG_1382

 

Now, it’s time for Take Three, and I ran out of blueberries.

 

IMG_1384

 

Not to worry because strawberries make an equally enjoyable substitution!

 

IMG_1385

 

This time I used less flax and more oat bran which gave me a much cake-ier consistency, but still a warm gooey center.

 

IMG_1387

 

Of note…this breakfast is wonderfully robust and filling.  However, I’m not going to pretend like this is as sweet as a muffin.

 

IMG_1388

 

I can tell you that I don’t miss the sweetness at all!  Especially when topped with almond butter and a sprinkle of coconut.

 

 

IMG_1390

 

Another fantastic, healthy, and satisfying breakfast.  The perfect way to start a sunny winter Sunday!

 

IMG_1391

 

Don’t have time to bake your breakfast?  I just learned from FitCupcaker that you can make her recipe in the microwave!

 

 

A few of my other healthy breakfast faves…

Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl

Pumpkin Banana Baked Oatmeal Bars

Breakfast Stirfry

Pumpkin Cream Pie Oatbran

Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Cranberry Dough Boy Smoothie

 

 

 

Strawberry Muffins Bake

Adapted from Blueberry Muffin Bake

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp almond flour

2 tbsp ground flax

2 tbsp oat bran

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tbsp agave

Chopped and quartered strawberries

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together flax seed, oat bran, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add in almond milk, vanilla, and agave.

Fold in strawberries.

Bake for 22-24 minutes.

Let cool and then top with your favorite additions!

So, It’s Friday…

Let’s See…

 

IMG_1107

 

Where to Begin?  I guess Breakfast makes sense!

 

IMG_1108

 

Not this morning’s breakfast though….that was eggs with veggies made by my Mom (Thanks Mom!), but yesterday’s breakfast. 

 

IMG_1110

 

Doesn’t look like anything special, I know!

 

IMG_1111 IMG_1112

 

But it is a wonderfully tasty, hearty, and filling way to start the day, so well worth sharing.

 

IMG_1113

 

I was intrigued when I discovered this recipe in the Wheat Belly book.  By the way, has anyone read it? Thoughts?

I love a warm breakfast on a chilly morning, so I thought I would give this a try.  I was happy that this easy and quick combination of flaxseed and coconut tasted so good…especially when covered in fresh blackberries.

 

IMG_1117

 

After breakfast, I made an early trip to the track.  I forgot my running shoes in the car, and had to trek back out to get them. 

Brrr…it was crazy COLD!

 

IMAG1407

 

I warmed up quickly though once I started my run.  The plan…60 second speed/recovery intervals.

 

IMAG1409

 

However, about 15 minutes in, I saw someone I recognized on the track.  My friend/coworker was a few paces ahead of me.  I was excited to catch up to her and abandon my speed work.  It was great to chat and enjoy some company for the rest of my run. 

 

IMAG1410

 

Thursday was a long day at the office, but I was excited for dinner plans with a few of my friends that night.  We laughed the entire time, and I am so lucky to have such amazing girl friends in my life.  Afterwards, I went back to my parents, where I spent the night…hence this morning’s fantastic breakfast.  I unplugged for the day, which was lovely, but I have a lot of catching up to do this weekend.

 

IMG_1121

 

But, I’m not going to start that tonight.  I didn’t get home until 8:15pm, which is insane.  After another long day at work, I swung by Whole Foods for dinner, groceries, and I just couldn’t pass up this bottle of wine.  One big glass later, I am exhausted, ready for bed, and making plans for tomorrow’s big adventure. 

Details to come…

 

How was your week?

What are you doing this weekend?

 

 

Hot Coconut Flaxseed Cereal

From Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD

 

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, walnut halves or raw hulled sunflower seeds (optional)
1/4 cup sliced strawberries, blueberries or other berries (optional)

 

Directions
Combine the milk, ground flaxseeds, coconut flakes and walnuts or sunflower seeds in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Serve topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few berries if desired.

 

Note: I added my cinnamon before microwaving. I would recommend topping with nut butters, more coconut, and fresh fruit.